In Britain, a Laboratory for Newsprint's Future
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 05/04/2010 22:16
Only days after News Corp. announced plans to start charging online readers of The Times of London and its Sunday sibling, a so-called pay wall came down last week at The Southern Reporter in Selkirk, Scotland.
The Times, with a storied name and a weekday circulation of 505,000, and The Reporter, which sells about 15,000 papers weekly, occupy very different positions in the newspaper market. But their decisions show how Britain is turning into a laboratory for the future of newspapers in the digital era.
The question for publishers is this: Can they persuade sufficient numbers of readers to pay online to make up for shortfalls in print advertising and circulation revenue, or are they better off keeping Web sites free and waiting for enough ad revenue to materialize?